A number of years ago when a friend and I were having babies, between the two of us we had 3 girls, baby number four was due and we were anxious to know if we would keep the girl theme or if we would add a blue hue.
Neither one of us grew up with boys so boys really were a different breed for us. When at last the big day came, we were thrilled to know it was indeed a boy. The first time I really noticed a difference was one Sunday morning when I was on diaper duty. I knew this baby was a boy, I knew that boys were intrinsically different from girls, but I was at a loss in diaper changing. I believe my words were, “Uhhh. He has boy parts and I don’t know about those!” My friend laughed and mercifully took over.
Nathan (not his real name) from the get-go was different from our girls. He would, as a young child, have times when life was just way too much for him to handle and he would emotionally lose it. I would watch as my friend held him tightly to her, refusing to let him go until he was calm and quiet. She held him, clutched to her breast and she would whisper calming noises in his ear. She’d whisper how much he was loved. Each time she held him in a desperate embrace, imbuing him with equally desperate love she felt, it took less time for him to calm down.
I thought about this the other day when I was watching the sun rise with Jesus. The thought quietly entered my mind and affixed itself to my thoughts. I thought of all the times I had fought those who most desperately wanted to help me.
The one I fought the most was Jesus.
Through it all Jesus held me until the fight left me. He held me tights in a close embrace when I wanted to run. He refused to let go when I struggled against Him. I struggled, I fought, I squirmed, I yelled, I screamed, I cried. I beat His chest, kicked, and still He held on.
He held me through my outward fighting and my outward submission, while my inner self was still struggling, still fighting. He still held on so tightly. Jesus refused to give me what I wanted, instead He held on to give me what I needed.
Which was more of Him.
Jesus held me until the fight left and then He held me longer. Not tightly but every bit as close. As He held me He’d whisper sweet words of comfort to my soul.
In my selfishness and self-centeredness, I had no idea He had done all of this for me.
Here’s the truth though. I’m not the only one He holds like that. He holds all of His children in a tight embrace allowing us to fight until the fight is gone and we’re exhausted. Then He holds on longer and whispers to our hurting, aching hearts of His great love for us.
And we fall blissfully asleep, comforted and at peace in Him.
I have learned a difficult lesson but one that also brings so much peace and comfort. We don’t have to fight so hard and so long. We can just surrender to Him, allow Him to live our life and be our life. We can feel the pain of life on planet earth, embrace it, and give it all over to Him. We weren’t made to carry it alone or make it personal. We were made to take it all to Him and leave it with Him.
It’s the only way we can truly ever live. The only way to peace. The path to joy and contentment.